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Thursday, February 17, 2005

A tale of snoots and snoods

Snoots :: Snoots, tiny blue creatures, are the mascots for is a unique cooperative gaming site, where each player or participant works cooperatively to solve a puzzle, write a story, and generally have a lot of fun. I found by linking from a Tom7 site. I found Tom7 through his cool font foundry, divide By Zero.

Snoods :: Snoods are the spritely animated blocky faces that are used to play Snood, a game that "will test your intellect rather than your reflexes. Your goal is to free all of the trapped Snoods by launching other Snoods at them." My sister recommended Snood to me.

Google's Massive Index: Helping Me Re-Live the Bygone Years

A little search for my old email address "martinship" came up with this little snippet from a text file dump of a database that Google had indexed for some reason:

Google Cache: dcguest/CBF_guest/guest.txt +martinship&hl=en

Original Page:

"Martin","Burch", "Evansville","IN","USA", "","First off, your site is really well
designed... I should know, I've
been browsing travel websites for
about 3 weeks now, looking for
travel info in indiana.

Your site follows this rule:
**Put content on every page**

Another thing, do you have a 800

And could you please send me some
more ""paper"" info on Parke county,
espically Rockville?

I'll now resume browsing your
website...","10 Jun 1999"

Of course, I should point out that email address doesn't work anymore (or if it does I won't get your email because it's not mine). But this is really cool. I have the entire hard disk of the 486 computer I used to post that comment on backed up to a CD, but who knew I could retrieve this comment from some long-forgotten database? Privacy advocates cringe, but historians delight.

Also: I don't live in Indiana anymore, and I was 11 years old when I wrote that comment. Nearly seven years ago. Wow!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

They say the eye is the window to the soul.
- the alpha noodle, carpe verbum

The newly founded blog carpe verbum is already getting some rave reviews by passers by. Passers by like me. It is a fascinating read. The images and stories of the alpha noodle, blogger of carpe verbum, will definitely make you stop and consider. Familiar phrases "the eye is the window to the soul" or familiar scenes of caged animals at the zoo lead readers into a story that makes them reconsider those words and experiences and see them in new ways. There is some amazing writing and graphical talent behind this blog. Seize the verb!

So after all of that fine praise, I feel justified in telling you that I was fascinated enough by the eye of the first post to verbum to create a little something of my own. Click on view video above and you can see a bit of my eye.

Other Martin Burches

I may have registered the domain name first, but that doesn't make me the only Martin Burch out there. In fact, a google search turns up nothing related to this Martin, but plenty related to other Martins' -- have a look:

Professor Martin Burch :: A distinguished author and professor at the Government, International Politics and Philosophy department of University of Manchester, England.

Presbyterian Martin Burch :: The Director of Worship at Grace Presbyterian Church. He also acts as Computer Systems and Office Administrator.

Mystery Martin Burch :: Posted a message on 09/08/2001 on Mobipocket message boards. Possibly one of the other Martin Burches already mentioned.

Thinking I Don't Look Like These Guys,

Yours Truly

What about the bullet-firing type?

Stun guns aren't for public, police say

"They're not safe," said Democrat Sherron Franklin, "and if (some) police officers are having problems with them, we can only imagine what kind of problems citizens would have."

She is talking about stun guns, but just consider for a moment that this quote could just as easily apply to the standard sidearm pistol.

Stun guns are only lethal a small percentage of the time, while bullet guns are highly lethal and meant to be so. Police officers have problems with them. We don't have to imagine what kind of trouble citizens get into with guns.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

But What About a Parallel Killer?

Dear Yahoo!:
How many people do you have to kill to be considered a serial killer?
New York, New York
Dear Laura:
Quantifying what it takes to be considered a serial killer is about as morbid a question as we've ever tackled.

So, updating your resume? Wondering if you can add some of your murderous life experiences to it? Just ... Ask Yahoo!

In case you were wondering ... I found this while searching for a code snippet that would tell me how many visitors were looking at my pages at the current moment (or in the last x minutes). No, really-- it's the second search result.

Although I now know that I have to kill three people with a break in-between killings before I can call myself a serial killer and that a parallel killer is known as a mass murderer, I still don't have any code snippets. And that could just push me over the edge. So if you've seen anything like this, let me know.

Monday, February 14, 2005

w.bloggar Saves the Day

Good ol Mozilla Firebird and Internet Explorer continue to hiccup over complex wysiwyg Blogger editing windows, so what's a budding blogger to do? Switch to some third-party application of course!

Enter the world of w.bloggar, a little app that interfaces with all kinds of blogging systems. Since it doesn't deal in javascript, it doesn't trip over it.

So I'm free (especially since this program is freeware!) to blog in peace without "Fatal Error" messages. How nice.

Let's Get This Show on the Road, Finally!

Time to start blogging! Like all new bloggers, I obviously have no shortage of story ideas I might someday write about.

But first, my congrats to Blogger and its fine crew. Real help system. Comparatively intuitive menu systems. A compose window with a blockquote button. And yes -- could it be true? -- spell-check!

All of these seem to be missing from the dodge piece of blog software called, ironically, Serendipity. The word means the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. This little unfortunate discovery took a good day out of my life, what with the shoddy hosting of the website, the nonexistent documentation, the questionable interface, and the general inclination I have to try to make things work.

I have noticed that some developers seem content to say "read the code!" whenever they are asked "documentation?". This seems to be especially true of Invision Power Board compatible RPG gaming systems. All three I've been able to find have nonexistent or horribly error-ridden documentation. We're not talking spelling mistakes here ... it's more on the magnitude of misspelled filenames, code that won't execute, instructions to delete critical files, etc.

Of course, blogger is not without it's problems. After completing the first spell check on this document, I noticed my first paragraph was helpfully changed to:
Time to start flogging! Like all new blockers, I obviously have no shortage of story ideas I might someday write about.

Flogging away,
Martin "Blocker" Burch